Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Unknown - Awakening - Part 2

The Unknown - The Awakening
Part 2

    Maria turned off the headlights of her car as the sky brightened to the morning sun's early light. It was almost six, but she would arrive on time, as always. She had arranged to meet outside of a house where she and the DDS had sleuthed their way to a target suspect. Linney Travis was a local drug dealer that was experimenting with getting high to see into the spiritual realm. Ivan said that the implications of such a development had been sending bad tremors into local people, and so this man had to be cuffed and taken off the street. Maria knew that the "spirit world" crap was just another way of saying "hallucinogen" for people that believed in things beyond the real world. However, it would still be an honor to take part in such a bust.

    She turned right onto Malmore Street and slowed close to the target house. She removed the keys and checked her watch. Five fifty-six. Excellent. After exiting the vehicle, she opened the back door and removed her coat. Slipping it on, she felt its warm grasp cling onto her structure. This coat and the clothes on her body were the only thing that brought her much, if any, closure anymore. A riveting past had made sure of that.

    Maria approached the designated meeting spot. A tall oak tree that had roots tearing apart the sidewalk stood towering over the neighborhood. It was also a few houses down from Linney's drug outlet. She approached the tree and looked up, staring into the dark mess of leaves. "Scout, its me."

    With a quiet slip, Scout landed on the ground gracefully. She turned and met Maria. "Greetings."

    "Hello. How is surveillance going?"

    Scout shrugged. "The target is out cold from some new mix of drugs. His dreams are pretty wild with spirit activity."

    "Uh-huh..." Maria sighed instinctively. She respected the DDS people, but they seemed to believe in the spirit stuff way too much. "So, how are we going to breach then?"

    "We could waltz in and entrap him with handcuffs." Scout smiled, seeing that the situation was rather easy to deal with. "What do you think about the sunrise?"

    "I'm sorry, what?" Maria was a bit taken back by the sudden topic change.

    "You like the sunrise don't you?"

    "Why... yes... I do. How did you-"

     Scout shrugged again. "I can just tell. Why do you like it?"

    Maria looked towards the east, where a slight yellow glow burned gently above the houses of the neighborhood. "Well... I suppose that it gives us clarity. Each new day starts with a sunrise. The cool air, the new light, damp ground. Awakening from sleep. And the world is at peace before the metropolis that is earth becomes busy once again. It just renews everything."

    "You really want a fresh start, don't you?" Scout interpreted.

    Maria's jaw dropped a little, but she caught it before Scout could notice. "Yes. But I do not want it. I need it."

    Scout smiled. "Katy and Bell have been looking into it. I hope it all works out for you."

    Maria kept a strait face. "Thanks, I guess. What about you? Do you like sunrises?"

    "They're fabulous. I also like rain. Rain is excellent."

    "Wait, you LIKE the rain here?" Maria's voice raised a bit with surprise. She had never heard of anyone liking Deinsport's constant rain.

    "Well... yes. It refreshes everything. A constant cleansing that pulls the dirt and debris from the air to give us something to breathe. Plus, it cools your skin and lets you realize your own warmth."

    "So, you feel comfortable with yourself in the rain?"

    "Precisely." Scout smiled again.

    "Very interesting. Thank you." Maria still hated the rain, but hearing Scout's remarks shed some new light onto the subject. "Well, are we going to catch this crook?"

    "Sure, the house should be-" Scout's voice was cut off by her cell phone ringing. She flipped it open and answered it quietly. After a minute of listening, she hung up the phone and turned back to Maria. "Turns out we need to bail and head over to another neighborhood a few miles west of here. An egregious homicide case or something from Ivan."

    Maria actually felt a bit disappointed at the news. This had been her first real case that she headed, and now she was not going to be able to bust the dealer. She paused for a moment in thought, and then looked to Scout again. "Think we could pick up Linney first?"


    "Fabulous." Maria said, chuckling.


    Harrow slugged down another slurp of coffee. She normally did not get up this early unless if an emergency with the DDS. She had to wake herself enough to keep driving to the homicide, but it was proving to be a challenge. Drowsy fingers slowly turned the radio knob to scan different stations. When finally met with some classical, she turned the music up in an attempt to wake herself further. However, the music only helped a little bit. Fir several weeks after the run-in with Shade, Harrow had been in bed on leave, recovering from the battering she had received from him. She did not mind the off time, for she recognized how lucky she was for having Ivan close by. Still, the weeks in bed had taken away her ability to get up early without flinching. This was tediously annoying, but it seemed to be a necessary annoyance.

    Finding the victim's house proved easier than suspected for Harrow. The massive amount of cops, police vehicles, and yellow tape clearly marked the house. Harrow parked at the other side of the street, slugged down the rest of her coffee, and wiped her eyes. Exiting the vehicle, a cop ran up to her. "Good to see you on the field again Miss Harrow! We were all so worried about-"

    "Please... just stop." Sionne let her morning sickness slip out her tongue. "Ah... excuse me officer. I'm still fatigued from getting up to-."

    "I understand Ma'm."

    "Good. Give me a situation report before my eyeballs gorge themselves with impudent fury."

    The young officer seemed a bit shocked by Harrow's negativity, but he ignored it. "Well, the coroner  said we have one body in the house. Shot through the head and lost a lot of blood. However, there seems to be a lot of blood. We have yet to identify who bled the excess."

    "Could it just be one poor soul?" Harrow asked nicely.

    "Impossible. Too much blood for one human to lose. Even a large man couldn't bleed so much. The DDS members are inside at the moment. You should join them."

    "Thank you officer." Harrow smiled blandly to the young officer, who's face glowed to her approval.

    Harrow walked slowly with hands in her pockets. She wiped her feet on the mat that politely said "Welcome". She noticed a yellow car at the base of the open door. Her eyes rose until they met the doorknob with a key in the lock, attached to all the other keys. She took mental note and stepped inside. Anders and Scout stood with Ivan in the kitchen area. She made eye contact with them, and the the two ladies smiled comfortably.

    Harrow moved forward and turned the corner, ignoring the body hiding under the white sheet and the hardened blood all over the place. "Hullo everyone."

    "Glad to see you have not perished."Ivan nodded a bit. She figured this was his hello to her. "But now we need to be onto important business."

    "Yes, lets start." Harrow answered somewhat bleakly.

    "Alright then. The victim on the floor here was killed by a gunshot to the head. Lost a lot of-"

    "I know," Harrow interrupted. "One of my men gave me necessary information. Who is he?"

    Ivan slowly leaned over and lifted the sheet and discarded it to the side. "We still need to identify the body, but-"

    "April!" Harrow gasp interrupted Bell once again. Everyone grew silent for a moment. "She's... she is one of my best officers. I... I..." She lost her cook at the sight of a fallen comrade. Her arms shook slowly, attempting to compute some action. No one could think of anything to retaliate to the uncomfortable and grim situation.

    "This victim was killed by a bullet fired from some type of firearm, most likely an assault rifle." Ivan pointed to the forehead where a bloody bullet hole was present. "The posterior portion of the skull is shattered. The splatter on the walls is from the bullet traveling through the head."

    "What about the blood on the counter? And the pool next to Scout?" Harrow asked, having a wavering in her voice from morning sickness and the shock of April's death.

    "Still not sure. From someone else. Presumably."

    "So, these bullet holes in the walls," Harrow pointed at the bloody holes next to the refrigerator. "Where did these come from?"

    "Someone extracted the shrapnel from the wall, and it looks like a .45 round. However, it could have not killed our victim here. Do you know what happens when you shoot someone in the head with a .45 ACP round at this close of a distance?" After a moment of silence, Ivan formed his hands at his waist and made a gentle bursting motion. "Only part of her head is blown away, so I doubt these bullet holes came from the actual killer."

    Harrow stared blankly, trying to find a connection buried within the depths of her mind. "Ivan, did you find any weapons or bullet casings in here?"

    "Of course." With a slight of hand, Ivan seemingly generated an evidence bag from within his coat. "We have a pistol, found next to the victim, and several casings of a round that match the caliber of this pistol found within the room across from us."

    Harrow took the bag and examined the contents. The pistol had a plastic wire tied through the action, and the casings matched that of the "This is definitely April's weapon. Its not standard issue, but it is similar to the weapons the force uses." Harrow's face froze upon reaching a sudden and confusing realization. "April must have been the aggressor here. But she never notified central of her actions..." Her eyes returned to a puzzled stare at the body.

    "She came in here to see someone. That someone," Ivan flipped around the picture frame laying face down in the counter's blood. It showed April affectionately holding onto a man. "Was her boyfriend. For whatever reason, April fired shots and is now dead, and the boyfriend is gone." Ivan stepped over the body and walked towards the front door. He touched the keys and set off a car alarm in the driveway. Shutting it off, he turned and looked back at the group. "Two cars in the driveway. One belongs to the victim. The other is registered to a man named David Longston."

    Harrow's eyebrows raised. "I heard she was dating a guy named David."

    Ivan nodded. "Now, neighbors reported several gunshots, and then one loud shot being fired. We're trying to identify if David had any gun permits or recent ammunition purchases, but he has not reported anything yet." Ivan paused, as if exhausted by the unusual amount of speaking.  "But something does not seem to add up. There is enough blood here to revive a few patients at a hospital. Yet David is not here with no signs of escape besides running on foot. I have police sweeping the area for him, but I have not heard anything back yet."

    "Did you guys get any spiritual signals?" Harrow quizzed. Anders rolled her eyes without anyone noticing.

    Ivan cleared his throat. "Honestly, no. At least, nothing majorly obvious. A spirit quietly lingered for a bit, but I feel that this murder had no spiritual influences. Yet, Jon felt some awful taste in his mouth when he first came in here. He said it could be the smell; or it could be some influence of some disturbed individual."

    "Like a serial killer who hasn't showered for days?" Anders chuckled.

    "No." Ivan growled. "Sensations of terrible origins usually derive from poor saps that either have experienced something traumatic or something inhuman."

    After giving a minute to finalize these thoughts, Anders dared to speak up again. "Well, have you worked up any leads yet, Ivan?"

    "Yes." Ivan replied. "Check the window behind you." Anders turned and pulled back the waving curtain. A gaping hole in the cracked glass appeared before them. Outside, Fairview was helping Jon onto an adjacent roof.

    "Judging by the height of our victim, the location of the broken glass, and the bullet hole in the wall behind me, we estimated that the killing shot was fired from the roof of a nearby building." They all watched as Jon slipped on the roof, forcing Fairview to catch him and pull him back up. "Unfortunately, those two have not been the most efficient with the steep roofs around here. Still, they persist on finding some type of bullet casing, which could lead us to a brand and caliber of ammunition."

    Harrow nodded. Ivan seemed to run a pretty tight operation when he was not cowering in the shadows. "Anders, Scout, can you go and see if you can help locate any type of round or casing outside." After their confirmation, the two stepped over the body and left the house. Harrow looked to Ivan, who was now leaning on the counter, staring at the body. "Ivan... I never officially thanked you for saving me."

    "It was nothing." Ivan stated blandly. "I am sorry that you lost one of your own today."

    Harrow returned her eyes to April, dead on the floor. "Thank you. Hopefully, I won't lose another one." She covered the face of the body again, and she walked out of the building.

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